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Transferring from Architectural Technology to Architecture

phaseshift

Hello,

I am a student in a 2 year AT diploma at a Canadian Technical college, and am at a crossroads in my academic life. I'm done my second semester, but am becoming concerned that I may have made a poor choice in not applying to an undergrad program. I've come to realize that while the technical skills I'm learning are going to be useful in this career path, I most likely won't get to design anything significant (if at all), and am not feeling challenged by my program. I have a 4.0 GPA, and am thinking of Ryerson as my top choice to transfer into after graduating, but need some advice as to whether this is the right choice for me, or if my concerns are justified.

Some background information: I've wanted to be an architect for a long time. I went into my program directly from high school in 2016, after being recommended to my college by a design studies teacher. My high school marks were what I'd consider good (A's & B's, 155 credits, plenty of extracurriculars & the french AP exam), and gave me quite a well rounded education. My marks weren't high enough to be competitive in applying to somewhere like Waterloo, and I really wish I worked just a bit harder, but there's no sense in asking what-ifs. In my senior year, life events distracted me from the application process, and I was therefore relatively uninformed about university programs. I knew AT would be highly technical and that most universities had a theory-based approach, but now feel that I might've shoehorned myself into the wrong school for my goals.

I am now much more informed on admissions & know the steps I have to take to become a registered architect, and think a bachelor's degree in architecture would be the path for me even if I don't take a master's program & write the registration exam. So, my questions are:

-Does my Architectural Technology GPA boost my chances of acceptance, considering that my marks in the required high school classes were in the mid/upper 70s?

-Is an architectural technology background respected in academic circles? I know Ryerson's program is fairly technical, but would I be better served by going to a more theory-based school with my technical diploma behind me?

-Any other concerns that I should take into consideration? I know University will be much more challenging & am working on my portfolio, but am I missing something?

-I'm not expecting much luck in transferring credits (Ryerson takes an AT diploma as 2 generic credits), but am unsure if I'll have an edge over high school applicants.

Any information helps! I'm also thinking of U of T, McGill, or Laurentian as a backup (their program isn't pre-professional and is heavily focused towards northern Ontario, so it might limit my options for grad school & employment elsewhere)

 
May 14, 17 10:15 pm
natematt

Yeah, it sounds like you need to switch into a bachelor degree. You likely won't get far in this profession with a two year degree.

May 15, 17 12:27 am  · 
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Non Sequitur
Your ceiling is pretty obvious with only a AT diploma. Make the switch to a arch bachelor as soon as you can.

Build your portfolio with a healthy mix of conceptual design, progress sketches and a hint of technical work. The main error most AT applicants do is turn over their college homework as portfolio work. This never passes the admin review... it might for UofT, but that's because it's not really an architecture school.

Don't worry about grade so much, as long as you make the cut off. Focus on a portfolio. Just keep in mind that in order to wright the exams and record intern hours towards licensing, you require a Masters degree.
May 15, 17 6:17 am  · 
1  · 
t_ulrich

I am in sort of the same situation as you in that I have graduated from a 3 year architectural technology program with a 4.0 GPA. You might be interested in looking into U of Manitoba's Bachelor of Environmental program, Dalhousie's Environmental Design program, and UBC has plans to introduce a 4-year Bachelor of Design degree starting in 2018. Laurentian's undergraduate program is considered a pre-professional degree, their Master's degree is just not accredited yet. That being said, in OAA's 2016 annual report, they noted that Laurentian has a very high chance of being accredited at the end of their 6 year period.

I got accepted to a couple undergrad architecture programs but don't want to do another 4 years for just an undergrad so I may attend OCAD's environmental design program for 3 years to finish or just complete a year there then try to transfer into Dalhousie's 3rd year entry program.

Another option is to use your 2 year diploma and transfer into a 4 year degree in something architecture related that isn't a recognized pre-professional degree. Two of the best options would be algonquin's Bachelor of Building Science degree, or Conestoga's Bachelor of Applied Technology in Architectural Project and Facility Management. Of course this route isn't as appealing but is always something to consider I guess.

If you have lots of money to throw around you can transfer into a Bachelor of Science in Architecture program in the states and probably finish in 2-2.5 years. Or another country, I received acceptances to schools in Ireland, UK, and Australia, all programs that I can complete in 2 years for an accredited undergraduate degree. Again, this is a lot more expensive but just another option.

May 15, 17 4:50 pm  · 
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phaseshift

Thanks for all the advice! Another option I'm considering is BCIT's Bachelor of Architectural Science, they allow students into 3rd year if they have an equivalent diploma to theirs in AT. An instructor of mine said only 1 student from my school ever got into 3rd year there, so I'm not gonna count on it, but it could be worth a try.

I also have the option of transferring directly into a degree in Denmark, which is more expensive but not as insane as american tuition. It's a direct pathway in as long as my GPA stays up, but once I add in living costs it could be a tight squeeze.

May 16, 17 11:38 pm  · 
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t_ulrich

Yeah I talked to the program coordinators at BCIT and they highly advised against applying because like you said, they only accept 1 student which is insanely difficult. You could apply for advanced standing in their 2 year program that eventually leads into the bachelor program but that's sort of risky if you are not accepted.

 · 
jwsd

Which school in Denmark?

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yuepengvang

I would want to study Architectural Techonoligst so I can start working after graduation, and then pursue Architecture and then a M.Arch. Would this work? And if so, how would I do this? I live In Saint Paul, Minnesota and am researching which colleges are best for this path.

Apr 24, 19 11:51 am  · 
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proximity

Highly doubtful that any courses in an architectural technology program will make an meaningful dent into credits for a bachelors degree. Find out what school(s) you might want to go to, find out what transfers, and only take those courses. You also won't be able to work very much during school. Your best bet may be to take generals at a cheaper place and transfer after a year our two depending on the programs you want your bachelors degree in.

 · 
yuepengvang

Thanks for answering, it helps me a lot! I'll take your answers into consideration.

 · 
CodesareFUN

They don’t. I did this route - only my gen ed credits transferred.

 · 
Steeplechase

Don’t really know if they are a thing, but one of my local community colleges is apparently part of a 2+2+2 program where one gets an Associates, Bachelors and Masters. Each degree is at a different school but if they exist elsewhere could be an option. I have B. Arch and if I did it again I think I would have considered going to a community college for a year and cramming in a bunch of core classes. Where I was the community colleges were part of the university system so core classes transferred between all schools in the system.

Apr 25, 19 3:39 pm  · 
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rachelyamada

Im working now in building  materials , back to school this fall 2019 and I'm taking architecture technology , just wanna know if it will help me to build my career? 

Aug 24, 19 12:03 am  · 
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moeahmed

Guys i just want to know what is the difference between being an arch technologist and an architectural 

Dec 3, 19 8:21 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

One wears a cape, the other dances in bars for money on Tuesday nights.

 · 
newbie.Phronesis

Oddly specific, but okay :D

 · 
moeahmed

probably the technologist the one who’s dancing

Dec 5, 19 4:30 pm  · 
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moeahmed

:D

 · 
Non Sequitur

perhaps, but only if they can be bothered to the read the above discussion before asking a question.

 · 
dlee1995

Following this tread post with a similar situation I have. 

I am a George Brown College AT graduate with a GPA of 3.3. I have tried to apply to Ryerson university for 2 years, in hopes of staying close home for my parents to support me. As a result, nothing is achieved with Ryerson's Architectural Science complicated requirements. This year, I have applied for BCIT's Architecture Science Degree. As I am waitlisted, I am trying to hang on and find another alternative to either..

Find a decent private or public architecture university in the US or Canada (preferably close to the city) that I am eligible to transfer my AT college credits. 

Or find a Architecture related job. I don't even know if I can find one since I have a small gap that I had not worked in the construction industry. On the bright side, I do have some working experience working as a BIM Modeler for 6 months at a Electrical Engineering Firm in 2017- 2018. 

Jun 13, 20 2:48 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Hey, your question comes up often and it's typically always the same conversation. As I'm sure you know, the path to an architect's license in Canada starts with an accredited Master's degree (M.arch) and to apply to these, you thus need a bacherlor's of some sort (which will determine if your M.arch is a 2y or 3y degree). The unfortunate thing is most Arch-Tech programs are college level diplomas and these are not enough for admittance to university master degrees. I am not aware of any B.A.S school that allows transfers from Arch-Tech but perhaps that's changed. If RYU allows some transfers, then why is the process so complicated? If I had to wager, I'd say it's because your portfolio is a collection of your college assignment (CAD and BIM drawings). If seen this so many times and they always get rejected because this is not what an architecture entry portfolio aims to be.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

In your case, you could look into the RAIC syllabus program. It is an alternative path to becoming an architect in Canada that does not require formal university degrees. You should be able to complete this while still living in the GTA and work full-time. (https://raic-syllabus.ca/) 

For what it's worth, I've never ever heard of BCIT... but I know it's not an accredited M.Arch. It's likely another low-tier arch studies / glorified arch-tech school.

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myahjackson

Hi everyone, I am also in the same position now.


I studied AT with an advanced diploma at a Canadian college and was able to fast track into engineering tech at a university to receive a degree. When doing AT, I was enrolled into the design stream so we focused less on the technical side and more on conceptualizing and sustainable building. I want to stay in that route but I feel I will have to continue school by getting my M. Arch and try to get an architect license at some point. Or is it possible for someone with an AT diploma to still be able to stay more design focused? 


Any insight would be greatly appreciated :)

Sep 16, 20 5:48 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

AT grads are predominately used as production staff. Good ones take on QC or Spec roles but few stay in design roles. Don’t know what you’re chasing here but know that you can’t get a license with just a AT diploma.

1  · 
newbie.Phronesis

Could try working for a really small firm (ie. 2-3 people) where you'll wear multiple hats on small projects, but otherwise like NS said.

1  · 
myahjackson

Thanks for both of your advice! Definitely things I'll be taking into consideration. I figured I may not be able to get into the area I want with just a AT diploma. I just completed a B. in Eng. Tech and just wondering if/how I'd be able to get into M. Arch and which schools might allow that in Canada?

And that's understandable, I would preferably like to work for a smaller firm but still have to get a portfolio together. I only have school work so do any of you have advice on what employers don't want to see in a portfolio? So that I don't include it

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Non Sequitur

I don't know what a B.eng is... is it a 4y university bachelor degree? If so, then most accredited M.arch programs are available to you but you'll need to complete a full 3 year masters. As for portfolio content, avoid all the template stuff everyone and their grandmother uses. You the ones: profile picture, stupid software competence graph, quotes by famous architects... that kind of jive. Focus instead on showing the progression of your design ideas. People know you don't know much about working in an office or putting buildings together but they do want to see how you think and solve problems.

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myahjackson

Bachelor of Engineering Tech is a program i was able to take in 3 semesters as a continuation of my advanced diploma to receive a degree. So from what you're saying, i may not have the option for M. Arch since it was not 4 years. And so for a portfolio, the idea is to focus more on showcasing thinking process rather than compiling every piece of work I've done into one document lol. I can understand that, thanks for the clarification!

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IrmaT.

Hi everyone,


I’m an international highschool student looking for some advice for studying in Canada.


I want to study Architecture, however Im not sure if the first step will be to study Architectural Tech and then make the change to Architecture as one school counselor suggested.   Is this correct?


Also, any suggestions regarding University options for foreign students.   I’m just validating since I don't want to make a poor choice that will end in a waste of years and economical resources (Student loan).


Thanks for your comments!

Oct 6, 20 10:36 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

For many, Arch tech is a consolation prize. For others, it's the best post-secondary option when they can't make the cut for a bachelor degree. If you have the portfolio material and grades, you should apply to a BAS program in any of the 10 (or is it 11) architecture schools in canada. None of these are accredited degrees (B.arch no longer exists here) but they will allow you to apply to a M.arch. Arch tech is college level studies aimed to pump cheap drafting staff in a very full and saturated market and does not lead one to becoming an architect... or even study architecture.

top 10 arch undergrad schools in canada are:

  1. Waterloo
  2. McGill
  3. the rest
  4. see point 3 above
  5. UofT
1  · 
apscoradiales

Some observations re:Architect vs. Architectural Technologists.

All the years I have worked, I've never seen a your architect graduate get to design something straight out of school. Sometimes it takes them as much as five years before they could call something their own baby. At best, for the first five years or so, they end up being a pencil pusher or cad monkey for a designer who has the experience or the seniority.

Architectural Technologists are well suited to be a team member for CD preparation.That's what their education is all  about. They know a 2x4 when they see one,  whereas some architects do not. They can put a package of drawings together for permit, tender and construction. Many architects cannot, because their training is not in that field, until they get a whole lot more experience.

Not that anybody is doing it, but I would not belittle either profession - both serve a very useful purpose.

Oct 7, 20 3:47 pm  · 
3  · 

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